Monday, February 6, 2017

A _Little Women_ and Louisa May Alcott Package

The end of my January project!  After finding these Little Women book character dolls on ebay a couple years ago, I finally have them fixed-up the way I want and ready to mail.  When I started donating books to my former elementary school's library, Little Women was one of the first titles I sent copies of, but it took me awhile to find character-dolls that appealed to me.  Most I've seen online look little more like generic old-fashioned dolls than they do any specific character, and many are porcelain which is impractical for a children's library.  After a long search, I found the handmade dolls below--Beth, Meg, Jo, and Amy, from left to right--(and would I love to wear Jo's entire outfit in real life?  Yes.  Yes, I would.  Have I mentioned before how much I love almost every charming stitch designed by clothing line Ivey Abitz  Gah!!)--
--and knew these were what I'd had in mind all along for the kids.  
Each doll is marked with the initials SL and dated 2011, 
and the detail and care put into these by their maker is impressive.  I wanted to personalize them a bit more for the students, though, so I wrote each character's name onto her dress in fabric marker and then stitched over the marker in case the ink fades in the future. 
I hot-glued-and-then-sewed-on a few iron-on patches to each doll that depicted the character's interests too.  Meg wears a watering can and home/garden gate and her twin boy-girl babies. 
Beth wears sewing needle and thread, a kitten, her beloved piano and music, and my attempt at an "I love my family" patch. 
Amy's patches are mostly art-related, with easel, crayon, paint palette, and a Paris one since she was the lucky sister who got to study abroad instead of Jo. 
And dear, bold Jo!    I added a pencil and paper to the front of her dress along with writing/reading-related patches.  (Her dress!  I'd change into it right now.  Those colors!)  It was a shame to alter the beautiful dolls, but I think they will draw more interest to the books this way.  Sometimes kids need a nudge. 
Louisa May Alcott is both a woman and writer I deeply admire, so I fixed up an Alcott doll to accompany her March sister creations.  This doll was on etsy a few years ago and had a simple enough face to be perfect as Louisa May. 
I removed the little basket of felt strawberries that had been sewn into its hands and replaced it with a miniature copy of the Little Women book--sewed it and then hot-glued it into the hands (trying to make these dolls last as long as they can with kids handling them).  :)
 This is another doll with which such care was taken.  Look at that braided hair.  So sweet.  
As I had with the character-dolls, I labeled the Alcott doll with the fabric marker, as well. 
I have already donated a couple copies of Little Women, a "Little Women at Christmas" excerpt-type book, and The Little Women Book:  Games, Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Pleasures.  Now the dolls will arrive along with two copies of a Louisa May Alcott biography, a picture-book version of Little Women for younger readers, and The Louisa May Alcott CookbookOhhh, if the kids who attend this sweet school don't become interested in this book or author, it won't be for lack of trying on my part!  Here's to good books (and cozy January projects).  :)

6 comments:

racheld said...

Val,

I think you may be the only blogger to whom I've written three times in one day. This is absolutely the most wonderful collection of literary comemmoratives I've ever seen. I'm so glad that you shared your trove, and that it is so close to the heart of so many girls/women /Moms/Grandmas/teachers/and readers everywhere.

We grew up on those books, and I think we all most related to Jo, though I had a few friends who were staunch Amys, loving the arts and longing to travel and live a life of luxury, and one or two who had had the same Sweetheart since second grade were totally in the MEG corner, planning their weddings before Senior Year

How very charming and clever are the young ladies who will be leaving your talented hands to go and live with generations of fortunate children. The small touches of theme on the aprons and the perfectly-chosen wardrobes are spot on and make the ensemble past price.

Brava to you and all your ladies, and to all the children who enjoy and learn and love these simply splendid renditions of such enduring personalities---they are who they ARE to the life.

Girl, you DO beat all.

r

Lisa said...

So much work, Val! So much attention to detail, and love put into it. :) Just charming.

I have seen and admired that designer's work before, but didn't know the name - great designs.

La Table De Nana said...

I told you..you are one of a kind!
I love all the personalization you have attributed to the dolls..
I always know it's you on Bloglovin' by the first pic in my feed.
You are a very talented writer...a very caring young woman..
Kudos Val.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Charming AND Fabulous! What an enchanting idea and such wonderful follow through. Yes, those clothes...THOSE CLOTHES!!! I've been watching Lark Rise to Candleford and totally drool over the clothes!

TiffanyJane said...

Wow! Sooooo beautiful and lots of work, but worth it! :)

Val said...

Thank you all. :) They were a labor of love. 'Such a beautiful book. ♥